For critics of early Christianity, one of the stock objections is that Jesus predicted he would return in the lifetime of his disciples. And since he clearly didn’t return, then he cannot be believed.
Indeed, it is this belief that has spurred many other theories among scholars, most notably Hans Conzelmann’s thesis that Luke’s Gospel was written to explain the delay of the second coming.
But, is it really true that Jesus predicted that he would return in the lifetime of his disciples? Here’s a recent video where I briefly address this question:
As for whether the imminent coming of Jesus affected the development of the NT canon, see my other article here.
One of the qualities of Scripture is its prophetic layering that can have application for current things (now past) but also future things that grow in intensity and clarity like a revealing pattern. A word/book for all time frames. Hendrickson (More than Conquerors) reasons this regarding various narratives in Revelation.
Mk 13:10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.
The idea that Jesus will return in the lifetime of his disciples is a valid one. Not the original discipl;es, but all of Gods’s children are disciples.
So what Biblical passage is it that critics say makes this claim? I have not heard this before.
“Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”